|A material and method of application for improving crop health and yield.|
- Crop fertilizer and pesticides
- Supplementary plant nutrition
Key Benefits & Differentiators
- Combined benefits of silica and chitosan: improved health, increased germination, lower stress-related gene expression, and higher yield.
- High pesticide/fertilizer loading capacity offered by mesoporous silica nanoparticles
- High surface area particles ensure fast delivery
- Reduce pesticide treatments
- Multiple application sites: seed infusion or foliar exposure
Combined benefits of chitosan and silica nanoparticles
Each year, ~20-40% of agricultural crops are lost to diseases, contributing significantly to global food insecurity and financial loss to farmers. Owing to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, chitosan-based materials are being used as biopesticides and insecticides. More recently, foliar sprays with silica nanoparticles are being applied to crops to boost their defense response against diseases, insects, and stress.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota, in collaboration with The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, have developed a new silica and chitosan-based biopesticide material, and a novel method of application to improve crop yield by enhancing resistance against stress and fungal diseases. The material is made up of high surface area mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) a possible chitosan coating. By combining the benefits of chitosan and MSNs for crops, and a novel method of application, the researchers observed significantly reduced expression of stress-related genes, and up to 40% decrease in disease severity from Fusarium wilt in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus). In addition, a 70% increase fruit yield is noted for uninfected watermelon crops. The material has the potential to deliver one or more types of fertilizer and the material properties can potentially be tuned to adjust absorption rate.
Phase of DevelopmentProof of concept. Field and greenhouse study data has been collected on the efficacy of this material against Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. niveum) infection in watermelon (Citrullus lanatus).
Ready for Licensing
This technology is now available for license! The University is excited to partner with industry to see this innovation reach its potential. Please contact Larry Micek to share your business’ needs and your licensing interests in this technology. The license is for the sale, manufacture or use of products claimed by the patents.